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Latest fire station aims for better response times

Service is expected to speed up in the northeastern part of Pinellas Park.

By ANNE LINDBERG
Published March 26, 2007


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Pinellas Park's first new fire station in 14 years opened Friday to help better serve the northeast end of the city.

The station, 11800 30th Court N, is expected to speed up response times to medical emergencies in the northeast section of the city and the Gateway area, which is part of Pinellas Park's fire district.

Because the on-ramp to Interstate 275 is virtually at the station's front door, emergency workers also will be able to reach highway wrecks sooner.

The decision to open Station 21 made sense, Pinellas Park fire Chief Doug Lewis said, "because, as the Gateway area grows, our call volume is increasing."

Two firefighters will staff the station. At least one will also be a paramedic, and the other will be either an emergency medical technician or a paramedic. One rescue truck will run from Station 21.

Instead of building a new station, the city decided to rent 1,000 square feet of a 53,000-square-foot building for $1,450 per month.

The city has a three-year lease that can be extended up to four additional years in two-year increments. It cost the city $35,000 to outfit the space and move in.

The building's owner, 118th Avenue Associates LLC, will run its business in the remainder of the building.

Lewis said the city did not have to hire any new employees to staff Station 21. Staff members were moved from nearby Station 36.

The last fire station Pinellas Park opened was Station 35 at 11350 43rd St. N, also in the northeast section of the city. It cost $975,000 to build in 1993. The station was originally meant to be temporary, but as the city expanded, the need for it to become a permanent station became clear.

The station's 5,102 square feet are home to the Fire Department's administrative offices as well as 13 firefighters and three lieutenants.

 

By the numbers

Department history

1912 the year Pinellas Park began its volunteer fire department.

16 the number of volunteers who staffed the department when it first opened.

50 the number of families in Pinellas Park when the volunteer department opened.

1925 the year Pinellas Park got its first real fire engine. The city still has that truck, a 1925 American LaFrance pumper. Affectionately known as "Francis," the city uses it in parades and on ceremonial occasions.

63,000 the approximate number of people living in the Pinellas Park fire district, which encompasses the city and a portion of the unincorporated High Point area of Pinellas County.

81 the number of full-time firefighters employed by the department.

21 the number of administrative personnel in the department.

5 the number of fire stations, including the new Station 21.

Source: Pinellas Park Fire Department

[Last modified March 26, 2007, 07:59:12]


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